Challenges and Best Practices in Commercialising Research

As part of the SARIMA Annual Conference 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia (22-25 May 2017) RINEA organised in collaboration with SARIMA and CAAST-Net Plus a workshop on “Challenges and Best Practices in Commercialising Research Results”.

The workshop  was addressed to Technology Transfer Offices of Universities and Research Centres. You may find the final agenda attached.

More than 35 representatives mainly of Universities and Research Centres attended the event, coming from countries of Southern Africa and beyond. Apart from Namibia and South Africa, delegates from Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and others were present.

The principal aim of the workshop was to bring together technology transfer practitioners and those involved in the commercialisation of research to share best practices and experiences, exchange knowledge and collectively identify practical ways to address common challenges faced in the market uptake of research results. In particular, the programme was structured in two main parts, which took place in the morning and afternoon respectively.

During the first part (organised by RINEA), subjects about technology transfer including cases from Africa and Europe were presented and discussed in the three distinctive sessions:

A. Good practices and bottlenecks
B. Obstacles in Cooperation
C. Path for Cooperation.

In the afternoon, the programme was dedicated to Africa – EU Knowledge Management and Communication System (KMCS) on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) (organised by CAAST-Net Plus).

During the three sessions, speakers either Europe or Africa based presented cases, good practices, obstacles and more sharing their knowledge and experiences.

Speakers contributed in this part were: Ms. Vaya Piteli (Technology Transfer Consultant, PRAXI Network/FORTH, RINEA partner and organiser of the workshop), Dr. Alexandros Papaderos (Deputy Head, Technical University of Munich ForTe – Office for Research and Innovation), Ms. Ela Romanowska (SARIMA Vice President Innovation and Technology Transfer), Mr. Fredrick Matongo (IP and Innovation manager, University of Forth Hare), Dr. Ann Kingiri (Secretary General of The African network for Research Training on Innovation and Competence Building Systems -AfricaLics , Senior Research Fellow at African Centre for Technology Studies -ACTS), Dr. Sandra Achare Besong Batey (Enterprises of Cameroon, Enterprise Europe Network) and Mr. Stefan Haffner (DLR Project Management Agency).

A vivid discussion with the participation of the speakers and the attendees followed the presentations. Common obstacles or unique problems were described and discussed, while thoughts and ideas were suggested and further explored. Participants agreed to continue this dialogue based on knowledge and experience sharing towards a collaborative direction. Future RINEA initiatives and activities will be communicated among this group as a consistent continuation trying to maximize effectiveness of our efforts.

The second part of the workshop was focused on KMCS on FNSSA managed by CAAST-Net Plus team: Mr. Stefan Haffner (DLR Project Management Agency), Ms. Refilwe Mashigo and Ms. Tinyiko Mushwana (Department of Science and Technology, South Africa). Findings from early KMCS on FNSSA consultations were presented and discussion on big data collection and joint EU-Africa system took place